I'm alert before I'm awake. My eyes are closed but I can sense the light in the room. I lay still, taking a mental inventory, "Yesterday was Friday. I talked to my husband on the phone before bed. He's at work. Today is Saturday. I have to pick up mom at 10:30. Is it 10:30 now?" I open one eye and look at the clock. "6:45. How delicious! That counts as sleeping in." I close my eye and savor the warmth of my flannel sheets, down comforter and homemade quilt, nestling my head a little deeper into my pillow. I move a fraction of an inch to relieve the pressure of my daughters sharp knees from the small of my back. Her shallow breathing signals that she is still asleep.
In these moments between asleep and awake time stands still. But not really. I only feel suspended in the weightlessness of being aware that it is still early in the day I have planned. I can go about my morning at the speed of syrup drizzling over the waffles my daughter will request for breakfast. I live for these mornings; my reward for a busy week of school, meetings, homework, kids' activities, and stealing moments from my husband's 100-hour work week to say hello and kiss his face.
My daughter's arm landing on my forehead disrupts my drowsy state of morning meditation. I'm awake. Turning my head a little bit, my gaze falls on my sleeping child; her long lashes drawn closed, her lips slack in peaceful slumber. I stretch toward her and kiss her little nose. She sighs and smiles, "Good morning mama. Thank you for our dream date." Our day has begun.